Wednesday, April 13, 2016

FemTK - Legacy Era Female Stormtrooper Build #2 - Corset and Butt plate

Master List of Linked Build Pages:
#1 Getting Started -sorting armor and getting supplies
#2 The Corset and Butt Plate
#3 Torso and Shoulder Pieces
#4 Upper Arm Pieces and Shoulder Bells
#5 Lower Arm Pieces and Hands
#6 Leg Pieces
#7 Belt and Ammo Boxesand detonator
#8 Helmet

I had started on the arms and legs and after connecting with other gals in the Legion, found it was much easier to start on the corset.

Materials needed:
3 or 2 inch wide black elastic - bought online since JoAnn's didn't have it. Dritz brand
Spare sheet of ABS plastic that came with your kit
Blue painters tape
Strong Magnets - cover them with blue tape to keep them from smudging armor!
No Frays from JoAnn's or the glue that keeps cloth edges from fraying (generic brand)
Matches (melting webbing edges)
Lexan scissors (from amazon, both curved and straight)
Fine grit sand paper
Both Black and White 1 inch webbing (strapping)
Tandy Leather Brand snaps 24, or heavy duty snaps from JoAnn's, 8 are needed. 10 might do,  but 20 in case you mess up.
Snap setting tools
Dremel with attachments for sanding, buffing, and cutting.
Breathing Mask while sanding
Drill with very large bit (5/8 I think)
CA Glue (Zap a Gap)
CA Glue accelerator (Zap - Zip Kicker)
Scissors (regular kind)
Update: 1 inch wide black elastic

The Corset

Here are a few pics of a completed corset.

1. Trim and sand the edges of lower front and kidney plate.
(Butt piece will be covered later)

First thing is to sand and trim the lower pieces. The part that extended into the crotch area was too deep for me. It was fondly referred to as "The Violator" by my Georgia mentors. I promptly trimmed it to be more comfortable. I drew an orange line to show how much. The goal is to make it comfortable while also still keeping the shape. Trim in small amounts. I taped both pieces together around my waist to see how they fit, then I walked around in it. I took of a bit more from the crotch after walking around a bit. As for the waist since I am at the large end of the spectrum, they barely fit! They should overlap at least an inch on each side. Taping them shows how you may need to either trim them, keep them, or extend them if they don't fit. I sanded all my pieces with a dremel but then went over them with a piece of super-fine sand paper. That way no edges will catch on my black yoga pants. Try on all pieces over your black under suit - other wise they may not fit right.

I think I am going to have to get used to walking bow legged so my thigh armor doesn't rub.

The kidney plate looks as follows:

The pointed part goes up, it is covered by the back plate which has corresponding V shape. I trimmed any weird edges off and also the lip that curved out off it. I left as much return edges as possible. The CRL for this build has most return edges (the edge that curved in on all the pieces). So try to keep them. I trimmed them down to about 3/8 of an inch on most if not all pieces.

I found my Dremel to be the fastest way to sand these. Also if the edge was very thick, it trimmed them off quickly! I recommend purchasing one. I did get extra sanding heads, and used two throughout my build.

As I mentioned, trim off any weird, sharp pieces so they don't snag on your black under shirts. Trim those sharp corners too.

And while you are at it - cover your strong magnets with painters tape. It prevents them from smudging your armor, wish I had done that earlier on.

2. Make your eight snap plates
Stephanie from Georgia Garrison has an excellent tutorial on making snap plates for corset and also how the corset fits together. I highly recommend them!

You can view them here at her channel.

You can check out my youtube channel with directions on how to snap and score your ABS pieces here.

Since her youtube video is perfect, I won't be duplicating her awesome work. I will assume you created 8 snap plates as she showed. I had to use three ABS squares because my snaps weren't tight, the end was too long. They were loose and make noises, so I used three.

3. Fitting them together for Glueing

When sanded, have someone help you tape them together around you for elastic placement.

Use a pencil to mark lines on them, inside and out. Pencil erases, or use a washable pen.

Mark a line on inside where they are going. This build barely fits me, I am currently on track to lose weight to fit into it better, so I had barely any overlap. There should be an inch, mine is a little less. If not, google how to shim ABS on and extend the sides if needed, but plan to do this on a lot of pieces.

Line up the tops of both pieces, not the bottoms. Again, the kidney piece has V shape on top. I chose to have my front piece overlap the back, with the front piece being on outside. (its what you will see).

This is the Right Side View of the front piece and back piece completed. The right side will snap together - that way you can unsnap it and open it up for  removal. If you are left handed, switch sides and put the snaps on the left.

Obviously you will place your snap plates on the other side of the line, the line is where the back piece will sit. There is a groove there, so you can place snap over the groove or off to the side. I picked over the groove and so far its fine.

I plan to put a few small pieces of velcro along pencil line area to keep gap closed if needed. I may not need it.

Your snap plate should have a flat back, if the snap curved back sit up too much when you glue it on, it will push the ABS out and make a bump. Just saying it now so you can prevent those pesky bumps. I had to use three pieces because my snaps were too jiggly - and weren't tight. Don't want to make rattling noises when I walk.

4. Glueing left side

The left side will have three-inch wide elastic glued in. (2 inch wide elastic would work fine too) It will be open-able, and that make it easy for the corset to be removed. You don't glue down the middles of the elastic!  Again, I chose to have my front piece overlap my back piece with the front piece being on the outside.

Above is a finished view of the Left Side Completed. Suit up and grab your painters tape.

Put your pieces together for glueing elastic on left side. I used a bunch of painters tape on outside, line your pieces up using your pencil marks. Remember to put front piece on outside. Try it on again, just to make sure it all sits right.

I clamped the edges together to hold them prior to glueing. I ran a single piece of tape down the center on inside. You don't want to put glue in center, because it needs to be open and moveable.

Cut two pieces of black 3 inch wide elastic, each 5.5 inches long. Use No Fray on ends. I did not do this and now regret it! (I bought it after glueing and will be No Fraying my edges). The elastic didn't melt well - which I tried first. So learn from my mistake and put the No Fray on. And ignore my ugly edges later on.

I put CA glue only an inch from the edges, as seen by orange squiggle lines below.

I used my pencil to mark a line where the elastic would end, lifted it and put glue on corset, then taped elastic down with small strips of blue tape. I tried holding it in place for 15 second, but then it glued to my finger and lifted up the elastic. The painters taped worked wonders! And it was easy to remove.

Save your fingers, use painter tape. Let dry for a few minutes or use Zip Kicker and it will dry instantly. Love that stuff.

When you are done, remove all the tape and clamps. Try it on. And say Wow! It will bend open and work great. The CA glue can easily be worked off it adjustment is needed.

5. Right side

Put them together and make sure they still fit, and line up. The gap at the bottom is normal and will be covered by the belt. Tape together on outside.

Cut yourself two strips of white webbing about 4 inches long. Go longer if you like. Trim edges and use No Fray on them, or melt them with a match like I did.

Get out your snap tools, its time to set the snaps.
(Again, scroll up and see Stephanie's snap plate tutorial on this)

The female end is composed of these two pieces. The button or whatever its called has a curved surface so you need the setting tools or you'll ruin it.

Too many pictures but hey, it might be useful to someone.

I found I could wiggle it into the webbing without making any cuts or holes.

I doubled my webbing over to make it stronger.

The setting tools include a round anvil thing and setter, and a hammer of course. So take them out to your cement area and pound them together.

The female end should be open like a dish so the male end goes into it.

I then put my pieces together and taped them on the outside. I snapped my snaps in and saw how it was going to go in. Then I marked a line with my pencil where the webbing was going to end prior to glueing.

Get your small pieces of painters tape all ready.

And pick up your webbing, put glue where you marked and tape it down. I used magnets to hold the middle in place since it bowed. Wait 15 minutes or use the Zip Kicker and its ready to go.

As a note: This gap is normal and will be hidden by belt and butt plate. The ends of the butt plate tuck under that gap and hide it as well.

4. Attaching Leg Snaps

Your thigh pieces will attach to the corset via snaps. That is what will hold them up. Like old fashioned stockings. Only less sexy.

First, suit up in your black tights or yoga pants, put on your thigh pieces, and then put on your corset. 

Take note of where the top of the legs meets up with the corset. Sadly, I discovered that one leg won't go high enough. My right thigh is too big, the left is fine. There should be about an inch or maybe two (not the three/four that I have) between the corset and leg. So, more dieting for me, or maybe shimming.

Anyway - take your pencil, and have someone mark it on the return edge. This is where you will be glueing the snap on. Make sure the leg piece is nice and centered as well.

Flip it over and glue the snap right in the center of the mark. I used e6000 for this, but CA glue would be fine. Clamp and let dry.

Just like the white webbing, cut some black webbing for straps, I cut mine 7 inches to have plenty of extra. Melt or put No Fray on edges. Put your female snaps on, and when the legs are done - you can glue the strips to the upper thighs.

Update: The black webbing didn't have enough give. I switched mine to 1 inch black elastic. Seal the ends with CA Glue or Dritz No Fray

Just like so. And the black webbing won't show against your black yoga pants or Underarmor.

4. Attaching Butt Plate

The butt plate sits on top of your butt. Unless you are a smaller gal and then your butt will mostly likely fit inside. If you are larger, its sits on top. As my mentor said, "Don't worry, it looks great. It's all in your head." And when I put mine on, it does look fine. No straps that go under the crotch or anything.

This is my butt plate completed. Note that the edge tucks under your corset and helps hide that gap. Also note that it does not sit straight but angles out. The butt piece is attached via elastic so that it can flex as well. (below)

It makes a nice fit. Once again, suit up, grab a pencil, some tape, and a friend/partner. Time to tape up. And its really hard to do this by yourself.

Have partner help you position butt plate. I had them draw a guideline that way I could tell if the plate had shifted during glueing or taping. Pencil erases so use that. The butt plate tucks under the kidney plate.

Tape away - but also it helps to have them tuck the tape into the trench.

Tape your sides as well. Cut three strips of your black elastic. Again, I made pencil marks where I planned to position them. Then, tear a bunch of pieces of painters tape. Put glue down about one inch wide using pencil line as a guide and tape down the elastic. Magnets help as well.

Use CA glue so they can easily be removed if needed. Let dry.

You will use three pieces of elastic, two might work. I had to redo mine. My side pieces were too much near the center. I removed them and put them more on the sides.

Glue all three pieces to butt plate first, then glue elastic to kidney plate.

Keeping the same bend in the corset as you glue is important. Repeat for the top pieces. The tape should hold the shape.

Try on when finished and remove and adjust if needed.

Move on to chest and back plates when you are happy with the fit.

Master List of Linked Build Pages:
#1 Getting Started -sorting armor and getting supplies
#2 The Corset and Butt Plate
#3 Torso and Shoulder Pieces
#4 Upper Arm Pieces and Shoulder Bells
#5 Lower Arm Pieces and Hands
#6 Leg Pieces
#7 Belt and Ammo Boxesand detonator
#8 Helmet

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